Water bottle? Check. Hiking boots? Check. Sense of adventure? Check. If you have these, then you’re ready to explore your local parks. Living in Ohio offers countless day trip options for you and your family. You are within hours — and in some cases, minutes — of attractions that will create memories for a lifetime. Here’s our guide of some of the state’s best parks you can experience in a day:
Scioto Audubon Metro Park, Columbus
This 120-acre park is a lush, green oasis that’s home to native birds and other wildlife. Attractions include a climbing wall, trails, a dog park, an obstacle course and plenty of educational programs throughout the week for both children and adults.
Olentangy Indian Caverns, Delaware
Experience Ohio’s Native American history during a 40-minute tour through the caverns and passages. Picnicking, gem mining and miniature golf are attractions at the park.
The Wilds, Cumberland
Experience an open-air safari in central Ohio, where you can see zebras, elephants, rhinos, giraffes and other rare and endangered animals in a natural habitat. The Wilds also has bike trails, a zip line and many more family-friendly adventures.
Slate Run Living Historical Farm, Canal Winchester
Travel back in time by visiting this farmhouse from the 1800s that was restored by Ohio’s Metro Parks. The farmhouse includes costumed volunteers re-enacting life on a farm set along some of the state’s most beautiful wetlands and trails.
Loveland Castle and Park, Loveland
Chateau Laroche, also known as Loveland Castle, includes a European-style castle that Sir Harry Andrews built in the early 1900s. There’s a museum with swords and weapons on display and a park that offers picnic areas and trails.
Hocking Hills State Park, Logan
This 2,356-acre park has one of the most magnificent natural settings in Ohio. Your family will find endless adventures in the vast state park’s waterfalls, cliffs and caves.
Charles Mill Lake Park, Mansfield
Located right off State Route 430 in Mansfield is 2,000 peaceful acres surrounding the beautiful Charles Mill Lake. The grounds include a total of 457 campsites, where you and your family can stay to fish and relax.
Mt. Gilead State Park, Mount Gilead
Whether you live closer to Marion, Mansfield or even the Columbus area, Mt. Gilead State Park is a small bit of paradise not too far away. Explore the abundance of wildflowers, wildlife and woodlands this park has to offer.
Burr Oak State Park, Glouster
Escape everyday stresses and immerse yourself into the cozy atmosphere of Burr State Park in Glouster. You and your family will be mesmerized by the views you’ll be able to see there.
A.W. Marion State Park, Circleville
Enjoy the rolling woodlands and quiet waters of A.W. Marion State Park! You’ll have 310 acres to explore, so go out and find the perfect spot to witness nature unfold.
With more than 83 state parks and 20 state forests, Ohio has a wealth of options for outdoor enthusiasts. Choose one today and enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Buckeye state this weekend!
If you want to get in shape, but aren’t much of a hiker, check out some of our best fitness classes in Ohio.